New York: Viking, 1960. Octavo. Light red top-stain, crimson cloth covered boards in a chipped, though unclipped, dust wrapper. Very slight roll to the top of the text block, bottom of the block square and tight. “ReJoyce!” inscribed and underlined on the upper right corner of the flyleaf in lovely script. 628 pages. Ninth printing of the first American edition, in which the author's corrections have been incorporated into the text. Near fine.
One of the more divisive books of all time, but we at Bad Animal are unified in our appreciation for Joyce's stream-of-consciousness masterpiece. To properly read the Wake, we must find its lines hiding out in the story of our own lives; such a reading does not involve a search for meaning. Early hardcover copies are rarely so fine.
"He dug in and dug out by the skill of his tilth for himself and all belonging to him and he sweated his crew beneath his auspice for the living and he urned his dread, that dragon volant, and he made louse for us and delivered us to boll weevils amain, that mighty liberator, Unfru-Chikda-Uru-Wukru and begad he did, our ancestor most worshipful, till he thought of a better one in his windower's house with that blushmantle upon him from ears-end to earsend. And would again could whispring grassies wake him and may again when the fiery bird disembers."